Allow me to describe the past couple of weeks: stress-filled sleepless nights, very groggy days, and coffee-laden cups. Well, two out of three isn’t bad. The days and nights are true, but I can’t stand coffee. Love the smell, hate the taste. I wish I liked it. Coffee certainly would make finals easier. Instead, I employed creative ideas to stay awake. I’ve taken to pinching myself, munching on cookies, and walking around the room to stave off sleep. I write paper after paper, trying to carry my laptop around my pace-track. If I sit down, the danger of missing deadlines proves too great. The cookies help fuel my papers.
Ah, final exams. The season of theses, papers, tests, presentations, and last projects. Procrastination weighs heavily on every decision made and every sentence typed. It’s incredibly easy to put deadlines off. The only trouble is that finals don’t go away. Dates edge closer and word counts seem greater with only days (or hours) left to finish assignments. I’m the first to admit that academic life at the Holt School can be extremely difficult. Professors challenge, encourage, and expect the very best from each and every student. In an emergency situation, most extend courteous amounts of extra time. Unfortunately, the “I’ve just been so busy and I didn’t realize it was due today” excuse hasn’t been known to work very well.
With a semester’s impending end, Holt students find themselves even more busy than usual, as if regular amounts of school, work, and family weren’t enough. Finals have a way of bringing out the dichotomy in students, the simultaneous best and worst, depending on the situation. Some of us write better under pressure, while others freeze beneath the calendar’s glare. Group projects and presentations often pair students with differing ideas which, if handled well, describe an informative, interesting speech, but can also make for a disaster if a group is thrown together at the last minute. Final exams, often the most stressful of all, can bring about great grades if students put the time into studying for them. Sometimes, though, the pressure of testing can overwhelm students. In my own experience, I’ve found essay responses to be the venue I’m most comfortable in for finals. Multiple choice exams trip me up because I tend to over-think responses and stumble over the validity of each decision.
Extracurricular activities also absorb whatever free time is left during finals. For me, this means preparing for final concerts and shows in the music department. Finding enough time to practice selected songs proves almost impossible when I stack it against exam preparation and library visits. That reminds me, a quick word about the library on campus-I highly recommend it. The staff is helpful, and the reference librarians are very helpful for finding information related to your paper topics. Olin Library is also great for finding a quiet corner or table where students can study or work on group assignments. Managing time well and understanding syllabus deadlines will help you succeed at the Holt School no matter what your major is.
I wish you the very best in all your endeavors at Rollins College Hamilton Holt School, and thank you for taking the time to read these entries. I hope that you will enjoy the wonderful opportunities for outreach, growth, and achievement that can only be found at Holt. Go Tars!